It's estimated that about a quarter of families in the UK use tuition at some point in their school careers. Most tuition is focused on help in preparing for high-stakes exams, such as 11+ Entrance Exams to Grammar or Independent Schools, Common Entrance or Public Exams such as GCSEs and A-Levels.
The current trend for tuition isn't without its detractors, however. Many parents wonder why they should invest more money into their child's education at home when their school should provide high-quality education.
A few reasons why you should or should not hire a tutor:
1) Hire a tutor to ensure that your child doesn't fall behind
Classroom teachers cannot give each child the individual attention they deserve. If a method isn't understood correctly, or if skills develop too slowly, a limited amount can be done within the school to address this. Falling behind can damage your child's education, particularly if they struggle in primary school. Low achievement in the earlier years will have serious ramifications, with apathy, resentment and poor behaviour likely resulting from an inability to keep up in class. If your child is placed into lower sets when they start secondary school, they may be exposed to a vicious cycle of lower sets over the following years, and they will likely be in a peer group of other unmotivated pupils.
You should consider getting a tutor if your child is falling behind at school or if their class teacher says that homework is routinely being poorly done, or if your child tells you they are struggling to understand what's being studied in class.
2) Do not hire your tutor if your child is too young
Some Private Schools now offer a 4+ Entrance Exam, so it can be tempting for parents to seek help preparing for Entrance Exams from a very early age. Young children need play to develop their cognitive and motor skills and won't respond to excessive teaching at an early age. Even if your child is amenable to tuition, at around the age of 5 or 6, the teaching should still be play-based and if you do get a tutor, ensure that they are an Early Years Primary specialist.
3) Hire a tutor to provide specialist support for School Entrance Exams
When applying to selective schools, it is often not enough, even if your child is top of their class at school. Entrance Exams often require children to have developed techniques to succeed, such as Verbal Reasoning, Difficult English comprehension and more challenging Maths. Choosing a specialist tutor will help your child understand the various exam techniques and timings of the exams, which can dramatically improve your child's score, potentially being the difference between missing out on a place or getting through to a school interview.
Read more about 11+ Grammar School Entrance Exams here.
Read more about Independent School Entrance Exams here.
4) Do not hire a tutor if your child is overburdened with work and extra-curricular activities
The pressure to get your child into a good school or university can seem overwhelming, but it is vital not to overburden children. Numerous studies have shown how crucial play and free time are to your child's development. It can be the case that the best way to help your child is by asking them to do less rather than more. Poor grades or bad behaviour can be signs of tiredness rather than lack of ability or understanding. So if you are considering tutoring, you should ask yourself whether your child could spend some more time relaxing and having fun.
You should also offer significant to your children for good work at school. You can motivate your child and improve their behaviour by using positive incentives. Adverse incentives can create the opposite response.
4) Hire a tutor to make your child's education personal
Tutoring is a personal relationship and is different from a teacher sitting in a classroom of 30 children with pupils and telling them what to put down on paper.
A high-quality, qualified tutor will provide a routine, discipline, time management and positive attitude for your child. Your tutor should be an excellent role model for your child, as well as their teacher.
One benefit of tutoring is that it allows parents to skip out on tensions over schoolwork. Employing a tutor will ensure that your child completes their homework on time. There may well be some initial objections to the tutor coming over, but it's unlikely that your child will display the same level of opposition to their tutor as they would to you.
So think before you choose a tutor ...
Tutoring can be an excellent resource, providing encouragement and reassurance to pupils feeling overwhelmed by their schoolwork and needing a boost in confidence, but that doesn't mean every child needs a tutor.
Because we only ever work with real UK teachers you will always get a highly experienced teacher who is safe, reliable and up to speed with the current curriculum and exam requirements. We vet all 20,000+ tutors, and they are all DBS checked.
Team up with other families to create a small tuition group at your home or online. Children should be of similar ages, abilities and ambitions. The tuition fee will automatically be divided equally among your group. Learn more
We're almost certain you will be happy with your choice of teacher, but if the first lesson is not a success, for whatever reason, you will not be charged for the lesson and we will immediately look to find you an alternative teacher.
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